Valpolicella Ripasso newbie…looking for info/recommendations

Had my first bottle (to my recollection) of Valpolicella Ripasso last night (2016 Bussola Ca’ del Laito). If memory serves, I did not pay a whole lot for this bottle, but it delivered in a big way. Loved the core of rich fruit, with lots of really interesting secondary elements, which I assume comes from the winemaking method.
Bottom line, I am rather intrigued, and looking to sample more broadly. Wondering if some of our experts in here can offer some direction, recommendations, wineries, retailers, and so forth. Thanks in advance for any information provided. This is really the great thing about wine, always something new to be discovered.

The Ca del Laito is a nice bottle. Not sure if you want to stick to Ripasso, but if you’re interested in moving up to Amarone Bussola does a great job there as well in my opinion (from limited experience).


I second Max’s sentiments. I am certainly a fan of Bussola’s Amarone and I love their Recioto (the dessert wine of the same grapes). I havent had the Ripasso though.

For Ripasso, I am a fan of Bertani and Zenato, but I haven’t drank quite as wide with Ripasso as I would like to have.

For Amarone, they get quite a bit more pricey and the less expensive bottles are tough to navigate. On the more affordable end there is San Rustico & Giuseppe Campagnola that I find to be solid. A bit more than those you have Masi, Allegrini & Bussola which are all quality producers.

One other super affordable option is Allegrini’s Palazzo della Torre. Sub $20 and great qpr on good vintages imo.


Zenato is very consistent.

I second Josephs statement on Allegrini’s Palazzo della Torre. It is one of my favorite QPR valpolicella’s.


Except it isn’t a Valpolicella.

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Right, it is ripasso method. Thanks for correcting me on my laziness while typing.

Well it ain’t that either.

It’s a Rosso Veronese with some atypical grape varieties for the region and a portion of the grapes are dried for a short while. It’s basically a dry red wine with a little bit of appassimento method used in the vinification.


True, but it does often drink quite like a Ripasso. I think the only atypical grape is Sangiovese and it makes up 5% in the vintages I have had and I think currently. I would be pretty impressed if someone could pick the sangiovese out in a tasting without knowing it was there though. Have you ever seen any info on what % of the grapes are actually left to dry?

Most likely nobody will find Sangiovese from the blend, but if the variety is not allowed in the classic Valpolicella blend, then it isn’t Valpolicella. Just like adding a little bit of Barbera to a Barolo makes the wine ineligible for the Barolo appellation and so forth.

But I do agree that it drinks more like a Ripasso than a typical Valpolicella (as Valpolicella reds tend to be lighter and fresher in character, whereas this wine has a bit more body and heft like a Ripasso).

The producer website says nothing beyond “a small portion of grapes” are dried. I’ve seen some importers mention that 30% of the grapes gets dried, but I’ve no official sources to back this up nor do I know how long does the appassimento process take.

But the wine is quite similar to Masi Campofiorin, which is another Ripasso-alternative labeled as Rosso Veronese. (And since the wines aren’t DOC Valpolciella, both the producers are allowed to use grapes sourced from a region much larger than just the Valpolicella.)